January 27, 2009


A woman in Bellflower gave birth to octuplets yesterday. All eight tiny babies survived and are expected to survive, in what is thought to be only the second time in history that has happened. Personal details on the mother and her eight children have not been released other than that she plans to breat feed all of them. (I can hear all the mommies I know saying "Good luck with that, honey!")

Holy crap. From no kids to eight. Just like that. I've known dogs and cats to have litters with fewer offspring than that. That's a... that's a... a reality show, is what it is.

Which gives rise to an interesting question. Obviously this happened with the use of fertility drugs. My guess is that the family here is somewhat economically challenged -- and if they're not now, it's a good bet they're going to be, very soon with eight kids running around the place. Is this something that we're strictly comfortable with? Yes, it's her body and her family and she (and her husband) get to decide whether or not to use these things. But is this a good idea? I can't see how it is.


Unknown said...

According to what I read, she already has six kids. I believe that women should have reproductive control of their bodies (including the right to have an abortion) but I have to say that I think this is crazy. I know big families are fun, and it SHOULD be a person's right to choose the number of kids they have, but what about the moral obligation we have to future generations? There are TOO many people on the earth as it is, people using resources, polluting the water and air, people starving from lack of food, people creating trash and adding to landfills. I don't know.....

Burt Likko said...

Bre, I think you raise several very good points worthy of careful thought. Aside from marvelling at what modern medical technology can do, it's a more important to question to ask what we should do with the capabilities our society possesses.

I think that freedom means letting people make choices that others disagree with. But obviously there have to be limits to that, and it's quite difficult to draw that line. For myself, I don't feel comfortable telling this woman that she can or cannot have fourteen children, although even just writing that phrase makes me shake my head in disbelief that anyone would want that in the first place.